Upward revisions show significantly higher coal consumption and production from 2000 to 2013
New data from the China Statistical Abstract 2015 (CSA2015) shows upward revisions in both the consumption and production of coal in China from 2000 to 2013. Energy-content-based coal consumption from 2000 to 2013 is up to 14% higher than previously reported, while coal production is up to 7% higher, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The revisions also affect China’s total primary energy consumption and production, which are also higher than previously reported – up to 11% and 7% in some years, respectively, mainly because of the revisions to coal. In 2014, the energy-content-based coal consumption was essentially flat, and production declined by 2.6%.
China’s National Bureau of statistics (NBS) typically published the CSA in May. The CSA provides annual total primary energy consumption and production in tons of standard coal equivalent (tce), which reflects the energy content, but it does not provide the physical tonnage of coal consumption and production. Final and detailed statistics are published in the China Statistical Yearbook, which is typically released in September or October.
CSA2015 does not provide specific explanations for the revisions to historical coal data. However, the direction and the magnitude of the revision are largely consistent with the widely reported issues associated with Chinese coal statistics, which likely are the reasons for previous upward revisions of coal consumption, according to the EIA. These issues include: disagreements between national totals and the sum of provincial reports, misalignment of reporting methods, and inherent difficulties in achieving data accuracy in a constantly and rapidly changing market as large as China’s.
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